Various Artists

Sixties Downunder, Vol. 1

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Raven Records' ambitious four-volume Sixties Downunder series, which collects singles released between 1964 and 1970 by Australian and New Zealand pop bands, is a Nuggets for the Fosters crowd, and illustrates once again how pervasive the Beatles and the other British Invasion groups were in a post-1963 world. Nothing here puts a revelatory new spin on the jangling garage band sound of the times, but as this first volume shows, it certainly doesn't diminish it either. There are a couple of familiar names here, most notably the Easybeats and the Bee Gees, but they're represented by relatively obscure sides, including the wonderful "Sorry" by the Easybeats and "Spicks & Specks," an odd bit of early cosmic philosophy from the Bee Gees. All and all, this first installment is a very nice start to an interesting series.

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